Spider plants are very easy to grow and virtually impossible to kill. Even the inexperienced houseplant enthusiast can grow this plant with great success, but spider plant problems can arise.
As with all of the most common houseplants, spider plants produce tiny white flowers that hang down from the top of the mother plant — they produce their flowers on long stalks that can be several inches in length.
What’s wrong with my spider plant?
Here are a few spider plant problems to watch for:
1) Fungal Problems –
Spider plants are susceptible to a range of fungal diseases, including Pythium Root Rot and Crown Rot. These issues usually begin with dead spots on the centers of the leaves, which progress to brown spotting and finally, leaf death.
To prevent fungal issues, ensure that spider plants are not exposed to extreme cold or hot temperatures as this will cause the plant to be weakened and thus more susceptible to fungal attacks. Keep soil moist but avoid over-watering your plant as spider plants do not require a lot of water relative to other common houseplants.
Spider plants are generally pest-free because of their slightly toxic properties; however, spider mites can become an issue if your plant becomes stressed.
If you see webs on the leaves, small insects crawling around on the plant, or have noticed a decline in your plant’s health since it was moved into its current location, there may be spider mites present.
Treat your spider plant pests by wiping the leaves down with the appropriate pesticide, and remember to keep your spider plant healthy so it can fight off any potential insect invaders.
3) Root Rot –
Spider plants are very susceptible t
o root rot issues if their roots get too much water and stay wet for too long, or if they do not receive adequate drainage.
It’s very important to make sure that you are not over-watering your plant, especially in the winter when your spider plant isn’t actively growing new leaves.
4) Sunburn –
While most indoor plants prefer bright light but not direct sunlight, spider plants can tolerate low levels of sun exposure no less than four hours a day. Lighting is key for spider plant plantlets to reproduce.
Direct sunlight can cause browning and yellowing of the leaves on your spider plant, eventually leading to leaf drop if you do not move it into a shadier location. If this happens, make sure that it is not receiving excessive sun exposure at any other time during the day.
5) Tips of Leaves Burnt –
Your spider plant can tolerate low levels of the sun for short periods of time, generally no less than four hours a day. If you notice that the tips of your leaves are brown and crispy to the touch, this means that they have been burnt by exposure to excessive amounts of sunlight or very dry conditions.
Treat by moving it into a shadier location and making sure that it is not over-watered.
6) Dropped/Missing Leaves –
Spider plants will naturally shed their youngest leaves throughout the year, but if you notice a great number of leaves dropping or missing from your plant, there could be another issue at play.
Damage to the roots of your spider plant may be preventing new leaves from emerging, and the roots could also be dying. If this is a recurring problem with your plant, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about repotting your spider plant.
7) Stalk Curling –
Spider plants produce flowers on long stalks that curl as the flower develops; however if you notice that your stalk is curling back on itself, or the flower is growing twisted and distorted, it may be due to too much humidity.
If you notice these problems with your plant it’s really important to increase air circulation around the plant , as Gardening Know How also suggests, (don’t forget about your spider plant when you turn off the AC!), make sure that your pot doesn’t have any standing water in its drainage tray, and consider using insecticidal soap to wipe your spider plant down.
8) Stalk Yellowing –
If the stalk of your spider plant is taking on a yellow hue, this can be a symptom of underwatering. Make sure that you are only watering your plant when its soil is dry. You can also check for root rot if other symptoms have presented themselves as well.
9) Stalk Rot –
If the stalk of your spider plant has grown mushy, blackened, and fallen to pieces, this is due to root rot. It’s important that you remove the pot from its location immediately so that any remaining roots can be treated with fungicide or burned. You should also repot in new potting soil and ensure that your spider plant is receiving proper drainage.
10) Leaf Curling Under –
If the leaves of your spider plant curl up or under, this can be a sign that it’s too dry. Your spider plant should only ever have its top inch of soil dry before you water it again. Check to make sure that your pot isn’t overflowing with water, and that you’ve left enough drainage for your plant to avoid root rot.
11) Leaf Curling Outwards –
If the leaves of your spider plant curl up or under, this can be a sign that it’s too wet. Check to make sure that your pot isn’t overflowing with water and that you’ve left enough drainage for your plant to avoid root rot.
12) Leaves Curling –
If your spider plant is curling its leaves inward, this means that it’s getting too much sunlight. Move the plant further away from any windows or skylights where possible. You can also move it into a shadier location, but make sure that it gets at least a little bit of direct sunlight.
13) Leaves Growing Sparsely –
Spider plants are known for producing babies, but this doesn’t happen if the plant isn’t receiving enough light or nutrients. Make sure that your spider plant is getting plenty of both!
14) Stem Curling Under –
The stems of your spider plant should only ever grow upward. If the growth has begun to curl under, it could be a sign that your plant is root-bound. This may also cause leaves on the bottom portion of the plant to drop and die. It’s important to repot in fresh soil and consider giving your plants more space to continue growing.
15) Stem Curling Outward –
Sometimes the stems of a spider plant will curl outward or upward, but if they begin to do so excessively, this can be a sign that the plant is too crowded. It may also indicate that your potting soil has become waterlogged. Examine your soil for standing water and repot in fresh soil with plenty of drainage to help your spider plant recover.
16) Stem Rots at the Base –
The base of a spider plant’s stem is subject to rotting if too much water sits in its drainage tray, or if it gets even the slightest bit of moisture on its leaves. Make sure that you don’t overwater your spider plant and that you avoid getting it wet when you water so that the base of the stem stays dry.
17) Stem Rot at Top –
If your spider plant’s stem has begun to rot at its top, this is usually because the plant isn’t receiving enough light. To prevent this from happening again in the future, make sure that your spider plant gets at least a little bit of direct sunlight every day.
18) Curling on Spider Plant Leaves –
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but if your spider plant leaves start to curl up or under, it’s likely that the plant isn’t getting enough light. Make sure that you put your spider plant in more light!
19) Leaves Curling on Top –
Your spider plant’s leaves should only curl inward if the plant is wilting from being too dry. If you water your spider plant and it begins to curl upwards, this can be a sign that its light levels need to be increased. Make sure that your spider plant gets at least a little bit of direct sunlight every day.
20) Stem Drooping –
If the stem of your spider plant starts to droop under the weight of its leaves, it could be because the plant isn’t receiving enough light. Make sure that you put your spider plant in more light!
21) Wilting Leaves –
Spider plants are known for their durability, so if they start to wilt excessively on their own, it usually means that something is wrong. To fix a wilting spider plant, cut off any dead or dying leaves and make sure to increase its light levels by putting it in more direct sunlight.
22) Leaves Turning Brown at Base –
This can be a sign of root rot, so you’ll need to repot your spider plant into fresh soil and provide it with better drainage. You should also cut off any decaying leaves and increase your spider plant’s light levels by putting it in more direct sunlight. If the browning continues, double check that you’re not overwatering and that you’re keeping the soil on the drier side of damp.
23) Leaves Turning Brown at Top –
If only the tips of your spider plant’s leaves begin to brown, this can be a sign that it isn’t getting enough water. Make sure that you aren’t over-watering and that your spider plant has drainage in its potting soil.
24) Cracked Leaves –
Spider plants are known for their durability, but if you start to notice cracked or splitting leaves, it can be a sign that your plants are receiving too much water. Water your spider plants only when the soil is dry, and make sure to give them plenty of drainage in their potting soil.
25) Brown Spots on Leaves –
You may think that brown spots on the leaves of your spider plant are another sign that it isn’t getting enough water, but it could also be a sign that your plant is receiving too much light.
If you suspect that the spots are being caused by sunburn, shade your spider plant to help prevent further damage. Make sure that your spider plant doesn’t get any direct sunlight and move it away from any sunny windows.
Final thoughts on spider plant problems
Spider plants are great for indoor decoration, but they can be tricky to take care of. Fortunately, by following these easy simple spider plant problems solutions you’ll be able to keep your plant healthy and thriving! Check out the quick list below to learn how:
- Don’t overwater or get it wet; make sure that the base of its stem stays dry
- Make sure that your spider plant gets at least a little bit of direct sunlight every day
- If only the tips of leaves start turning brown, this is usually because it isn’t getting enough water.
- Make sure not over-watering and have drainage in its potting soil
- If leaves begin curling up or under, then there might just need more light.
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